Introducing Southeast Asia’s very own stars and exoplanets

A number of Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, have successfully named their very own stars and exoplanets as part of a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an international astronomy group. 

Singapore’s star has been named Parumleo, Malaysia’s Intan, Thailand’s Chaophraya, the Philippines’ Amansinaya, Brunei’s Gumala and Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady, according to the International Astronomical Union. The respective countries had organized their own naming competitions and collected votes before proposing them to the global body.

Singapore’s star was named by astronomy enthusiast Jordan Sun Jing Tai, enthusiasts from Astronomy.SG announced today. Parumleo means little lion in Latin, while the exoplanet orbiting around the star, named Viculus, means little village and was selected as it embodies the “spirit of the Singaporean people.”

“In 2019, we asked you to name a star and it’s exoplanet in our shared skies. Today, we are happy to announce these results to you all. Congratulations to Jordan Sun Jing Tai for the winning submission! Thank you all very much for your support last year!” a post published today read.

According to NASA, Singapore’s yellow star was originally identified as WASP-32 and is 907 light years from Earth. The exoplanet takes three days to complete its orbit around it. In recent years, thousands of exoplanets have been discovered using newly deployed NASA telescopes.

Malaysia’s HD 20868 star is now known as Intan, which means diamond in Malay. Its exoplanet has been named Baiduri, or opal, and takes a little more than 380 days to complete an orbit. 

Thailand’s WASP-50 star, more than 600 light years from Earth, was named after the great Chao Phraya river. Its exoplanet, named Mae Ping, is more than three times Jupiter’s mass and takes two days to complete its orbit.

Separately, the WASP-34 star more than 400 light years away from Earth now belongs to the Philippines and named after the Tagalog mythology sea god Aman Sinaya. The exoplanet Haik is named after Aman Sinaya’s successor and takes around four days to complete an orbit. 

Indonesia’s exoplanet Noifasui orbits around the HD117618 star, now named Dofida, about 120 light years from Earth. Dofida means our star in the Nias language while Noifasui means to revolve around.

Myanmar’s exoplanet Bagan revolves around HD18742, which is now named Ayeyarwady. The exoplanet has a mass 3.4 times that of Jupiter and takes over two years to complete an orbit.

Brunei’s star is named Gumala and its exoplanet Mastika, which takes over three days to complete one orbit. 

Brunei star infographic

A total 112 countries participated in the NameExoWorlds project, results of which were announced Dec. 17 in Paris, according to the union. 

“The IAU100 NameExoWorlds project saw massive and widespread participation around the world, as the public eagerly engaged in this exciting opportunity to suggest meaningful, creative and unique names for exoplanet systems for their respective countries,” it said. “This is only the second time in history that a campaign has led to the naming of stars and exoplanets.”



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This article, Introducing Southeast Asia’s very own stars and exoplanets, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!